A metric called the Customer Effort Score (CES) is used to gauge how simple it is for customers to connect with a company. It evaluates the amount of effort customers must expend to complete a job, such as contacting customer service about a problem or making a transaction. CES surveys are used to gather feedback from customers about their experience and measure their perceived effort.
There are several methods to measure CES, and the choice of metric depends on the specific survey format. Here are some common CES survey types:
Likert scale: This method uses a scale from “Strongly Disagree” to “Strongly Agree,” typically numbered from 1 to 7. Customers rate their level of agreement with a statement related to ease of interaction, such as “The company made it easy for me to solve my problem.”
Customers rate products on a scale of 1 to 10, with lower ratings signifying less effort. When asking customers how much effort they expended to complete a task, this scale is frequently employed.
The alternatives on this scale, which ranges from 1 to 5, include “Very Difficult,” “Difficult,” “Neither,” “Easy,” and “Very Easy.” Depending on the desired scoring, it can also be done in reverse.
This method utilizes emoticons or emojis, such as Happy Face, Neutral Face, and Unhappy Face. Customers select the appropriate face to indicate their perceived effort, with the Happy Face representing low effort.
To determine the right time to send a CES survey, consider key customer touchpoints, including:
After a purchase:
Send a CES survey to customers after they interact with your product/service or complete a purchase. This feedback helps identify areas for improvement in the buying experience and onboarding process.
After customer service interactions: Send a CES survey after customers engage with customer support or read knowledge base articles to assess the efficiency of your support team and the helpfulness of your content.
After any interaction related to usability:
Send a CES survey after interactions that could cause friction or negative customer experiences, such as the launch of a new feature or evaluating internal processes.
When crafting a good CES questions, ensure the wording is clear and unambiguous. Avoid asking unrelated questions and maintain a neutral tone to prevent bias. It’s recommended to avoid using the word “effort” directly, as its meaning may vary across languages and cultures.
There are two common question formats for CES surveys:
Use this format when using the Likert scale. For example, ask customers to rate their agreement with a statement like, “How much do you agree with the following statement: The company’s website makes buying items easy for me?”
Direct question format:
This format works well for surveys using the 1-10 scale or emoticon metrics. Customers can be questioned, for instance, “How much effort did it take to solve your problem?” Alternatively, “How difficult was it for you to solve your problem?”
By dividing the total amount of the CES scores by the quantity of responses, you can determine the average score and use it to understand the CES data. The score can also be determined by deducting the percentage of negative responses from the percentage of positive responses, neutral responses excluded.
The interpretation depends on the specific question and metric used. Comparing your CES scores over time and analyzing trends can provide insights into the effectiveness of your efforts to improve the customer experience.
While CES surveys are valuable, it’s recommended to pair them with other satisfaction-oriented surveys, such as Net Promoter Score (NPS), to gain a comprehensive understanding of customer loyalty and satisfaction. CES and NPS can complement each other and provide insights into different aspects of your business.
In conclusion, CES is a useful metric for measuring customer effort and identifying areas for improvement in the customer experience. By collecting feedback through CES surveys and taking appropriate actions, businesses can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.